Guided Walking Holidays in Morocco
This guided trek takes us into the heart of the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and combines good walking with superb mountain scenery, as well as the opportunity to experience Berber life close up. We trek across a series of mountain passes to explore four different valleys, following ancient Berber trails that link the villages of the High Atlas. We can look forward to an interesting cultural experience, with varied accommodation, Berber hospitality, Moroccan food and breathtaking scenery.
After a night and morning exploring Marrakech we travel high into the Atlas Mountains to the small resort of Oukaimeden (2700m). The next day a longish but well-graded trail leads to the mountain pass of Tizi Outhattar (2960m) where we descend into a remote valley and cross another, lower, pass to reach the village of Iabassene where it seems as if little has changed for centuries.
The next day a scenic trail winds high above the valley floor and up to the Tizi Tacheddirt. Here there are views of several peaks over 4000m before we descend into the valley to reach a Berber Lodge (the Tigmi Tacheddirt) in North Africa’s highest village, Tacheddirt. Here we can relax on the sun terrace, enjoy “whisky berbere” - local mint tea - and soak up the magnificent views of the mountains and valley, whilst Berber village life continues around us as the sun begins to set. Most places we stay on this trip have terraces with magnificent views, where we can observe the way of life in a Berber mountain village and in the terraced fields below. We can even sleep out under the stars on the terrace on warm nights.
From Tacheddirt a mule trail leads us down valley and then up to the Tizi Tamatert (2279m) from where we descend on a trail through pine woods and past villages into the Mizane valley and our next overnight halt beneath North Africa’s highest mountain, Djebel Toubkal (4167m). The next day, it’s a fairly easy climb over the Tizi Mizik (2489m) and then down across the juniper slopesof the Azzaden valley, to reach the village of Tizi Oussem. This is on the valley side with views up valley to 4000m peaks and down valley to the village of Ait Aissa. We head down the valley into the green of the Ouirgane Nature Reserve to spend a final night in the Atlas in the village of Tassa Ouirgane. Now at low altitude again, there may be the scent of wild lavender and mimosa, almond and olive trees abound. Here the pleasures of the Dar Tassa Lodge await us.
The following morning we have a short minibus transfer from the mountains back to the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Here we’ll have time to explore the labyrinth of the souks and bazaars, as well as experience the sounds and smells of daily life in the old Medina of Marrakech. There are food stalls, story tellers, magicians, snake charmers, dancers and much more in the famous square of the Djemma El Fna.
The walking, scenery, hospitality, Berber villages and cultural experiences will ensure that the memories of this trekking holiday remain with you forever.
This trip is mainly on old mule trails that link the villages of the High Atlas Mountains, with some sections on wide pistes (4 WD tracks). Most days we will be walking for around 4-5 hours although the walk from Tizi Oussem is a little longer (around 6 hours) Conditions underfoot are dry, stony and dusty except after (rare) rainshowers. There is a considerable amount of ascent anddescent although most is well-graded. However there are some steeper sections; these are usually quite short and not sustained. We will have mules to carry your main baggage so we only need to carry your daypacks. However, you should make sure you are physically prepared for the trip.
Trek staff We will be accompanied in the mountains by a Berber guide who will speak Berber, reasonable French and some English. Berbers are renowned for their friendly natures, as well as a great sense of humour and our guide will probably be no exception. His local knowledge, mountain experience and support will ensure that we have a safe and enjoyable trip. We will also have muleteers and a cook.
What you need to provide Your personal equipment as in the equipment list. A sleeping bag is required for some nights during the trek (especially if you intend to sleep out under the stars!).
IMPORTANT - Day to day itineraries are statements of intent and may be subject to change due to local conditions. However they will only change if some unforeseen circumstance should occur
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
1. Arrive Marrakech. Evening visit to Djemma el Fnaa (Hotel) D
2 Guided tour of old city. Transfer after lunch to Oukaimeden Chez JuJu (Hotel) BLD
3 Trek over Tizi Outhattar to Iabassene (Basic Gite) BLD
4 Trek over the Tizi Tacheddirt Tacheddirt (Berber Lodge) BLD
5 Across the Tizi n Tamatert and down to Aremd. (Berber Lodge) BLD
6 Into the Azzaden valley to Tizi Oussem. (Basic Gite) BLD
7 Trek down valley to Tassa Ouirgane (Dar Tassa Lodge) BLD
8 Transfer to Marrakech Depart Marrakech BL
Dates: October, exact date to be confirmed
Cost: To be confirmed - about £800